Ruth Wada

Mrs. Ruth Yoshiko Wada passed away on December 21, 2010 after a prolonged illness at Keiro Lincoln Park Nursing Home. Mrs. Wada leaves behind son, Roy (Masakuni) Imai of Sacramento; sisters Hisako Hashiguchi and Tomiko Baba of Los Angeles, and Sizuko Fujimura of Tokyo, Japan; and grandchildren Denise Imai of Davis, and David Imai of Frankfurt, Germany.

Ruth was born on June 3, 1917 to Toshimatsu and Masuyo Imai in Sunnyvale, CA. Father, Toshimatsu, immigrated to Calif. in 1915 followed by his wife a year later. The couple had one son and four daughters. The Imai’s purchased a 20 acre farm in Kingsburg in 1922 to grow strawberries, but following the death of their only son, decided to return to Japan. Masuyo and their four daughters returned to Japan in 1928, and Toshimatsu returned two years later.

Ruth spent her formative years in Kure, Japan. In 1938, Ruth married Tadashi Matsumura. A son, Masakuni was born the following year and another son Masaaki three years later. During World War II, as bombing of Japanese cities and military bases increased, and with her husband overseas in the Army, Ruth moved her family to a fishing village and later to a small town. Towards the end of the war, she and her sons where witnesses to the atom bombing of Hiroshima, seen as a bright flash in the distant sky.

Following the end of the war, death of her husband, and realization that their future in Japan was bleak, Ruth returned to California in 1948. She married Tadashi Shintaku and arranged for her son Masakuni and sister Tomiko the following year. Her youngest son, Masaaki, adopted by her older sister and husband, remained in Japan. The Shintaku family lived initially in Kingsburg, then Menlo Park, and finally settled in Clovis, California. While working full time at various domestic jobs and later as a clerk in a supermarket, Ruth continued to attend evening adult classes and obtained her US high school diploma. Her second husband died of TB in 1960.

In 1962, Ruth married Sadami Wada of Fresno. She was widowed again in 1968. Ruth moved to Gardena and resided in the Seicho-No-Ie duplex next to the Church where she was an active member for over a decade. She later moved to the Keiro Retirement Home, the Keiro Intermediate Care Facility as her health declined, and finally to the Keiro Nursing Home.

A memorial service will be planned later in the spring. Ruth’s ashes will be buried at Green Hill Cemetery. Please contact Roy Imai at (916) 638-6868 or “mailto:[email protected][email protected] if you wish information regarding the memorial service.